Posts Tagged ‘Bryan Hehir’

This article at LifeSiteNews and the associated comments gives additional perspective on the difference between what the courageous Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver did vs what Cardinal Sean O’Malley in Boston did with advice from his most trusted advisor, Fr. Bryan Hehir .

Boston and Denver Archbishops differ on permitting children of gay couples in Catholic schools
by Kathleen Gilbert Fri Jan 14, 2011

BOSTON, January 14, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Following directions from Cardinal Sean O’Malley, the Archdiocese of Boston has formulated a Catholic schools admission policy that prohibits “discrimination” against students who come from a homosexual household, a move that has won praise from dissident “Catholic” gay rights leaders. Last year Archbishop Chaput decided differently for Catholic schools in his diocese saying: “Most parents who send their children to Catholic schools want an environment where the Catholic faith is fully taught and practiced. That simply can’t be done if teachers need to worry about wounding the feelings of their students or about alienating students from their parents.”

The new policy was sparked by the decision of Boston’s St. Paul’s elementary school last May to withdraw acceptance of a student after learning the child was guarded by two women in a lesbian relationship. The archdiocese subsequently distanced itself from the decision.

That decision occurred only weeks after a school within the Archdiocese of Denver also rejected the application of a student guarded by a lesbian couple. Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput supported the school’s action. “The Church does not claim that people with a homosexual orientation are ‘bad,’ or that their children are less loved by God. Quite the opposite,” he explained.

“But what the Church does teach is that sexual intimacy by anyone outside marriage is wrong; that marriage is a sacramental covenant; and that marriage can only occur between a man and a woman. These beliefs are central to a Catholic understanding of human nature, family and happiness, and the organization of society.”

In announcing the new Boston policy, Cardinal O’Malley said that the archdiocese has “never had categories of people who were excluded” and that “Catholic schools exist for the good of the children and our admission standards must reflect that.”

“While there are legitimate reasons that might lead to a decision not to admit a child, I believe all would agree that the good of the child must always be our primary concern,” wrote O’Malley on his blog.

Archbishop Chaput concluded that since Catholic schools owe Catholic students the full teaching of the truth and children being brought up by homosexual couples could be hurt by the teachings, allowing them into Catholic schools “isn’t fair to anyone—including the wider school community.”

Boston Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia Father Richard Erikson confirmed that, “We will not exclude any category of child from our schools and we expect pastors will be in conformity with the decision,” in remarks published by the Boston Pilot this week.

The new policy does not specify the meaning of a “category” of students. Secretary for Education Mary Grassa O’Neill declined to state how the policy would have affected last year’s case. The dissident group Catholics for Equality hailed the new Boston archdiocesan policy on its Facebook page as “a good news story.” “Let’s work to implement similar policies in Catholic schools nationwide!” said the group, half of whose board members hold leading positions at the top homosexualist group Human Rights Campaign.


Posted by familygonzalez on Jan 14, 2011
Cardinal Sean O’Malley has opened up a Pandora’s box!

Posted by maryernie on Jan 14, 2011

Archbishop Chaput will not abandon the schools entrusted to his care! He remains faithful to his calling as the spiritual leader of his people! Praise God!

Posted by Nancy D. on Jan 14, 2011

It is important to note that the bishop fails to mention that which is for the common Good which would include both the child and the parent. If it is true that the bishop has been properly catechized regarding The Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality, he would have clearly stated that it is out of Love and respect for the Dignity of every human person that The Catholic Church teaches that we must never condone sexual behavior and sexual relationships that do no respect the inherent Dignity of the human person and are thus demeaning.

Posted by Just Say’n on Jan 14, 2011

It will be interesting to see how Cardinal Sean O’Malley of the Archdiocese of Boston is going to teach according to the Catholic Church that “HOMOSEXUAL ACTS are MORTAL SINS”, so that ALL of the children in his schools are not influenced by another MORTAL SIN that seems to be over looked by too many Bishops – that of SCANDAL. CCC # 2284 ” Scandal is an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil. The person who gives scandal becomes his neighbor’s tempter. He damages virtue and integrity; he may even draw his brother into spiritual death. Scandal is a GRAVE offense if by deed or omission another is deliberately led into a grave offense.” Children learn by example. The homosexual lifestyle is NOT OK. Unfortunately too many children will be Cardinal O’Malley’s guinea pigs while he pushes a liberal and non-Catholic agenda.

Posted by subterratigress on Jan 15, 2011
It seems to me that if the principle (or whoever is in charge of this sort of thing) sat down with any homosexual parents who wanted their children enrolled in the school, and explained, as charitably as possible, that all the children learn about the fact that the only place sexual intimacy is acceptable in God’s eyes is between a husband and wife, man and woman, in marriage. Then ask them if they still want their child[ren] enrolled, given the nature of their relationship. My guess would be that they would high-tail it and take their child[ren] elsewhere. But hey, if not, why not let the child be exposed to a hopefully good, Catholic/Christian environment?

Posted by Just Say’n on Jan 15, 2011
PRACTICING homosexual ‘parents’ do not care about their own Eternal lives, so for them to care about another’s Soul would be highly unlikely. Their lifestyle example to children in their homes is scandalous. If they were not publically advertizing that they were homosexuals, the school administration and no one else would ever know, since in this economy people share homes (not bedrooms). This appears to be another attempt to push the public homosexual lifestyle onto Catholics and waterdown the teachings in the CCC and in Holy Scripture. (Gen 19:1-29; Rom 1:24-27; 1 Cor 6: 9-10; 1 Tim 1:10; and the CCC 2357-2359. Tolerating or complaisance of Mortal Sin is sinful in itself. (CCC 2480, 1868) Cardinal O’Malley is not allowing the Catholic Schools in his Diocese any discretion.

Posted by Kathy16670 on Jan 15, 2011
I’m quite certain his is an intentional attempt to weaken the Church’s correct stance on homosexuality. I believe the line of thinking is “once we are in, and they start teaching about homosexuality (aka hate speech,) we can slap them with a law suit.” They have succeeded in pushing their agenda in the public square, and now the Catholic Church pretty much stands alone in saying homosexual activity is wrong. Praise God for courageous leaders like Archbishop Chaput.

Posted by Just Say’n on Jan 15, 2011
This needs repeating – – – – – “Archbishop Chaput concluded that since Catholic schools OWE Catholic students the FULL teaching of the TRUTH and children being brought up by homosexual couples could be hurt by the teachings, allowing them into Catholic schools “isn’t fair to anyone—INCLUDING the wider school community.” (caps are mine) Catholic Schools must teach religious Doctrine, and Doctrine must be supported in the children’s homelife. If homosexual couples (not really parents) do not support Catholic teachings in their homelife, what is their motivation for sending them to a Catholic school in the first place?

Posted by Raymond Peringer on Jan 15, 2011
Homosexual households wanting to send their children to Catholic schools are expressing a vote of confidence in the quality of Catholic teaching. Otherwise they would be trotting off to the other place. This must be of concern to public school advocates.

Posted by Just Say’n on Jan 15, 2011
Even if it were better than the local public school, I would never send my children to a Muslim School – since their beliefs are different from what I believe, and I know they would faithfully be taught a religion that was contrary to my beliefs and lifestyle – at a tender and impressionable age. Further, other children would discriminate against them for my not living according to the Muslim faith -which they believed to be correct. Kathy (above) has a good point, that once children of homosexual couples are admitted, their parents can sue under “Federal HATE Crimes” teachers and children who express the teachings of the Church regarding homosexual acts beiung Mortal Sins and all that that implies. Posted by carmen on Jan 15, 2011 What a mess, can it get any worse? what are these bishops thinking? Lord help us.i hope they are going to be taught the right way. i can see many law suit under hate crimes,

Posted by Idaho Pete on Jan 15, 2011
Remember this is the same Cardinal O’Malley who held a gala funeral for a baby killing politician, who spent most of his adult life advocating and promoting this. This same politician through the power of his political machine gave the state same sex marriage. This same individual was described as a model Catholic at the funeral, yet history shows he was a drunkard, adulterer and total abortionist.This of course was a total slap in the face to those in the pro-life movement and this act (by not defending the Church and her teachings) further shows that this diosese is a defiler and is corrupt to its core to the same degree of the time of the Borgias who could buy and sell their way in the corrupt Church of that time. If you haven’t yet, I recommend viewers go to RealCatholicTV.com it’s an eye opener

Posted by Reginald on Jan 15, 2011
Why don’t we just call a spade a spade. O’ Malley is just the latest of these heretical Vatican II modernists who have destroyed the Church…

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By now, most of you have probably heard about the disaster of a policy the Archdiocese of Boston’s supposedly “Catholic” Schools office unveiled this past week that officially says Boston Catholic schools can’t discriminate in admissions.

At this blog “Queering the Church,” in a post called, “Catholic School Admissions: Sanity in Boston,” they are excited about the policy, saying “representatives of leading gay and lesbian Catholic organizations welcomed the new policy.”   When gay “Catholic” organizations like DignityUSA, praise the archdiocese and Catholics for Marriage Equality says they “hope dioceses around the country will adopt Boston’s guidelines,” you know there’s a big problem. This disaster could sweep across the country quickly if faithful Catholics do not act quickly.

Lots of people are asking what to do about this.  Here is our initial thinking, but more will be coming as we launch our campaign.

First and foremost for right now, educate yourself.  It’s troubling to hear from readers, friends, and other bloggers that a lot of Catholic laity and priests in the Boston area seem ambivalent about the policy, so you may even have to educate your pastor and other Catholics.   Read this post in its entirety if you can, but for those with limited time, here’s an initial attempt at distilling the longer content we have covered before into a shorter set of key talking points:

1. Good of the Child Not Served by Learning Values in School Radically Different from Those at Home
2. Private Schools Can and Do “Discriminate”
3. Need Partnership Between Catholic School and Parents
4. Protecting Innocence of Children is Impossible
5. Policy Mandates Implicit or Explicit Recognition of the Gay/Lesbian relationship as Valid
6. Use of Holy Father’s Quote is Deceptive
7. Policy Violates Principle of Subsidiarity

1. Good of the Child Not Served by Learning Values in School Radically Different from Those at Home

For all of the talk about not depriving the innocent child of gay parents from a Catholic education, no one ever explains how the good of the child is served by being educated with one set of moral principles in school and encountering something radically different in their home.

As Dale O’Leary put it, “Persons in same-sex relationships who have children naturally want to protect their children’s feelings. They aren’t going to want their children to be exposed to the truth. A Catholic school cannot agree to hide the truth.  What is in the best interest of the children of same-sex couples and the other children? If they accept the children in the school, the children will either be alienated from their parents on whom they rely or alienated from God who would be seen as condemning their parents’ choices. While older children might be able to understand and even appreciate the Church’s teaching, younger children certainly will not. To them it will just seem mean. It will put the teachers in an untenable position and confuse the children’s classmates. Therefore, it is reasonable for Catholic elementary schools to explain to same-sex couples that this is not the place for their children.”

Archbishop Chaput wrote the Church teaches that “marriage is a sacramental covenant; and that marriage can only occur between a man and a woman.  These beliefs are central to a Catholic understanding of human nature, family and happiness, and the organization of society.”  When the Church teaches that gay marriage is against the will of God at the same time the parents live a lifestyle that rejects those beliefs, then the child will hear the Church saying their parents (upon whom they rely for sustenance) are bad.  The burden and stress is borne by the child, who is caught in the middle, and on their teachers, who have an obligation to teach the authentic faith of the Church.

Fr. Landry at CatholicPreaching noted, “There is a requirement, for the good of the child, that the parents commit to raise the child in a situation that at least does not contradict the values and formation given at the school. If the child’s education will not be coupled to a way of life consistent with it, the parents and school would be placing the child in a spiritually and morally schizophrenic situation — which is obviously harmful.”

How exactly do proponents of the policy reconcile this conflict and claim what they are doing is for the good of the child still?

2. Private Schools Can and Do “Discriminate”

Catholic schools are private schools, and by nature, a private school admits some students and not others.  Catholic children could and should have preference over non-Catholics in admissions. Children are excluded from schools on an individual basis because of behavioral problems.  The Vatican has declared that active homosexuals should be excluded from seminaries. It’s a private school, and as such someone will inevitably be excluded.

The Catholic Church “discriminates” in the sacrament of baptism, where the Church wants all children to be baptized but the priest has the duty to determine that there is a “well-founded” or “realistic” hope that the child will be raised in the Catholic faith (Canon 868 in the Code of Canon Law). As Fr. Roger Landry has written, “If there is no realistic hope that the parents are going to raise the child in the faith…the pastor…must reluctantly delay the baptism in view of the good of the child, who assumes rights and responsibilities upon being baptized. If the child is not going to be nourished in the faith to know and live by those privileges and duties, then the Church defers the baptism, hoping that either the parents will have a change of heart or the child, upon maturity, will freely request baptism as a catechumen.”

3. Need Partnership Between Catholic School and Parents

Archbishop Chaput, Dale O’Leary, Fr. Roger Landry and Vatican documents including Declaration on Christian Education (Gravissimum Educationis) have said it well.  The school  needs to partner with parents to develop children in the faith.  That means the parents have to accept the teachings of the Catholic Church and help reinforce them in the home and family life.  Archbishop Chaput wrote, “If parents don’t respect the beliefs of the Church, or live in a manner that openly rejects those beliefs, then partnering with those parents becomes very difficult, if not impossible.” There is an inherent conflict here with gay parents  who are happily living a relationship that is considered immoral, which permanently deprives children of their natural law right to both a mother and father, and which can never ever be considered valid by the church.  This is uniquely different than situations where parents are divorced, single parents, or co-habitating heterosexual couples, where those parents themselves may hope for the potential of a valid marriage, and where the relationship can indeed hopefully become valid in the eyes of the Church some day.

4. Protecting Innocence of Children is Impossible

By forcing the admission of children of active gay and lesbian parents, the Archdiocese of Boston has declared that the desires of those gay and lesbian parents living in a relationship considered immoral by the Church trump the Church-granted rights of Catholic parents and children to keep their children’s minds innocent.

The Vatican’s Pontifical Council on the Family’s 1995 document, Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality says when premature information about sex is imposed on children who are not yet equipped to integrate that information with moral responsibility:

Such information tends to shatter their emotional and educational development and to disturb the natural serenity of this period of life. Parents should politely but firmly exclude any attempts to violate children’s innocence because such attempts compromise their spiritual, moral and emotional development. [No. 83]

“Parents must protect their children, first by teaching them a form of modesty and reserve with regard to strangers as well as giving suitable sexual information but without going into details and particulars that might upset or frighten them [No. 85]

Apostolic Exhortation on the Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World His Holiness (Familiaris Consortio): says:

The Church is firmly opposed to an often widespread form of imparting sex information disassociated from moral principles.”

With actions like this policy, the Boston Archdiocese is overruling the primacy of parents as the first educators of their children.  In addition, by condoning the exposure of young children to homosexual parents of other children–and likely public displays of affection in front of young children at school functions or events hosted at their homes–they are ensuring that all children will be put in a situation of confusion that will require explanation by parents.

How will seeing such displays of affection between homosexual couples not corrupt the mind of a young child? How does the Archdiocese explain their rationale behind keeping parents out of the loop and breaking the innocence of a 6-year-old mind to explain why Johnny has two daddies?

5. Policy Mandates Implicit or Explicit Recognition of the Gay/Lesbian relationship as Valid

Pope John Paul II’s Letter to the Bishops on Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons says:

The Church is also aware that the view that homosexual activity is equivalent to, or as acceptable as, the sexual expression of conjugal love has a direct impact on society’s understanding of the nature and rights of the family and puts them in jeopardy.”

Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith cautioned about recognizing homosexual unions and making them a model in society.

11. The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behaviour or to legal recognition of homosexual unions. The common good requires that laws recognize, promote and protect marriage as the basis of the family, the primary unit of society. Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behaviour, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity. The Church cannot fail to defend these values, for the good of men and women and for the good of society itself.

The U.S.C.C.B’s Guidelines for Ministry to Persons with Homosexual Inclination say the following:

Special care must be taken to ensure that those carrying out the ministry of the Church not use their position of leadership to advocate positions or behaviors not in keeping with the teachings of the Church. They must not belong to groups that oppose Church teaching. It is not sufficient for those involved in this ministry to adopt a position of distant neutrality with regard to Church teaching.

The Church does not support so-called same-sex “marriages” or any semblance thereof, including civil unions that give the appearance of a marriage. Church ministers may not bless such unions or promote them in any way, directly or indirectly.

Pope John Paul II’s Letter to the Bishops on Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons also warned about this problem.  The Church “is also aware that the view that homosexual activity is equivalent to, or as acceptable as, the sexual expression of conjugal love has a direct impact on society’s understanding of the nature and rights of the family and puts them in jeopardy.”

The Pilot, acknowledged this problem, saying, “it can be argued that the appearance of normalcy and acceptance of homosexual behavior that would follow from accepting gay parents into the life of a Catholic school — at parish functions, fundraisers, as chaperones for field trips, etc. — could lead other children to grave confusion about the nature of marriage as the union between a man and a woman.”

How does this policy not force the Church to give direct or implicit recognition of the gay relationship of the parents?  In admitting children of gay parents to Catholic schools, how will the Church avoid giving the impression that the status of the parents is comparable to parents united in the bonds of Holy Matrimony?

6) Use of Holy Father’s Quote is Deceptive

The first line in the draft policy says, “In creating this policy we are guided by the words of the Holy Father…”:

No child should be denied his or her right to an education in faith, which in turn nurtures the soul of a nation.”  Address of His Holiness Benedict XVI to Catholic Educators in Washington DC. April 17, 2008.

This out-of-context use of the Holy Father’s words is a deception to justify the policy.  Anyone who reads the Holy Father’s actual address to Catholic University of America can plainly see that he was referring to the “financial needs of our institutions” and “long-term sustainability”—and thus Catholic education would be accessible on a financial basis “to people of all social and economic strata.”  When he said “no child should be denied his or her right to an education in faith,” he was clearly saying that financial means should not be a reason for denial. That Cardinal O’Malley would allow repurposing this quote to justify admitting children of gay and lesbian parents is scandalous.

As another blog asked, did the archdiocese ever actually ask for the Vatican’s input or input from the Holy Father?

7) Policy Violates Principle of Subsidiarity

The policy says that pastors, principals, advisory and/or governing boards may develop specific admission policies for their school provided they are in conformity with the Archdiocesan Admission policy.

This violates a core principle of subsidiarity in Church law, which  means the Church usually assumes that problems are best defined and resolved by those most closely affected by them. By entrusting a pastor to care for the people of his parish, and by empowering a pastor to make certain decisions on behalf of his parish, the bishop is exercising the principle of subsidiarity, but regardless of the spin-control from the archdiocese, the letter of this policy negates that, forcing the pastor to conform to the top-down policy.

For now, make sure you know these points well. Don’t sit there stewing over this waiting for Bryan Hehir Exposed to do everything and miraculously resolve the scandal and crisis.  Forward a copy of this blog post to your pastor via email. Visit the Take Action page and send your own letter to the Roman Curia people listed there.  We think that the policy should be scrapped and some people in high positions in Boston need to be replaced, but it’s going to take multiple rounds of contacting Rome to get them to respond. We’ll make more suggestions when we get our own campaign launched.

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They did it.  Today the Archdiocese of Boston released the policy to officially admit children of gay and lesbian parents to Catholic schools.  We just received this message from a local Catholic reader of the blog and we’re publishing it just as we received it. 

To: Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Pietro Sambi
cc: Cardinal Sean O’Malley and members of the Boston Presbyteral Council

I would like to ask for the immediate intervention by the Apostolic Nuncio and Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith [to] prevent a crisis in the Boston archdiocese from spreading across the country.  As you can see below, a policy has just been promulgated for the purpose of forcing pastors to admit children of homosexual parents.

1) The policy is rooted in deception from the first line!  Selected words of the Holy Father originally used in one context are repurposed to justify the policy. Cardinal O’Malley, and anyone who approved this policy with these words knowing they were used out of context should be asked to resign. That the Cardinal Archbishop of Boston would knowingly misuse the words of the Holy Father and deceive his entire archdiocese destroys any trust between the ordinary and priests and laity and creates a climate where his governance and words can no longer be believed.

2) The policy tramples the principle of subsidiarity by taking decision-making away from the pastor and making him beholden to the archdiocesan policy. See this blog post for details.


3) Input by many of the people consulted, including members of the Presbyteral and Archdiocesan Pastoral Council was completely ignored.

4) These two blog posts explain everything else that is wrong with the policy, from the lack of mention about the need to partner with parents in Catholic school education, to the consequence that the policy will force the Catholic church into giving explicit recognition to gay unions and marriages, in direct contradiction to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.



I urge you to take whatever actions are necessary to stop this policy effort immediately before other dioceses follow suit.

Sincerely in Christ,

ML, Boston

To:       Pastors, Principals and Heads of Schools
From:   Catholic Schools Office
Date:   January 12, 2011
Over the past many months, at the direction of Cardinal Seán, the Catholic Schools Office has worked to develop an admission policy for our schools.  Our goal has been to provide clarity and guidance for pastors, school principals, administrators and the wider school community.
During an extensive review process we consulted with the Presbyteral Council, Archdiocesan Pastoral Council, Pastors, Principals and a number of lay and academic leaders.  We sought a process that would allow us to reach consensus on a policy that would be appropriate in a Catholic school environment while understanding the diverse population of students we are entrusted with educating.
I want to thank everyone who participated in the review for their thoughtful and caring input.  The future of Catholic education is bright in the Archdiocese because of many good and talented people such as our pastors, principals, teachers, staff and students.  By working together we are creating an environment for our students that offers them opportunity and a future filled with promise. 
Catholic education is one of the most important ministries in the Church.  Parents choose to send their children to a Catholic School because of our commitment to strong moral values inspired by Gospel teachings, a track record of academic excellence, and safe learning environments, among other reasons.  They also choose Catholic education with the knowledge that the child always comes first.  With the adoption of this admission policy we hope to clarify our overall commitment to serve families who are accepting of our approach to the academic and moral development of our students. 
If you have any questions about the admission policy, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Following is the policy approved by the Cardinal. 
Archdiocese of Boston ~ Catholic Schools Admission Policy

In creating the Catholic Schools Admission Policy, we are guided by the words of the Holy Father, by Canon Law and by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:
“No child should be denied his or her right to an education in faith, which in turn nurtures the soul of a nation.”   (Address of His Holiness Benedict XVI to Catholic Educators in Washington DC, April 17, 2008.)
 “As important as a sound Catholic school education is for the new immigrant and the poor, it continues to be of prime importance to those children and grandchildren of the generations who earlier came to our shores. Our Catholic schools have produced countless numbers of well-educated and moral citizens who are leaders in our civic and ecclesial communities. We must work with all parents so they have the choice of an education that no other school can supply—excellent academics imparted in the context of Catholic teaching and practice.”  (“Introduction,” Renewing Our Commitment to Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools in the Third Millennium, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Inc., 2005.)
“The Church has in a special way the duty and the right of educating, for it has a divine mission of helping all to arrive at the fullness of Christian life.  Pastors of souls have the duty of making all possible arrangements so that all the faithful may avail themselves of a Catholic education.  Education must pay regard to the formation of the whole person, so that all may attain their eternal destiny and at the same time promote the common good of society. Children and young persons are therefore to be cared for in such a way that their physical, moral and intellectual talents may develop in a harmonious manner, so that they may attain a greater sense of responsibility and a right use of freedom, and be formed to take an active part in social life.” (Code of Canon Law, Title III, Catholic Education, Canon 794-795.)
“Young people of the third millennium must be a source of energy and leadership in our Church and our nation. Therefore, we must provide young people with an academically rigorous and doctrinally sound program of education and faith formation designed to strengthen their union with Christ and his Church.”  (“Why We Value Our Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools,” Renewing Our Commitment to Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools in the Third Millennium, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Inc., 2005.)
“While we look with pride to the many successes and achievements of our Catholic elementary and secondary schools, the entire Catholic community must now focus on the future and the many challenges we face…We must then move forward with faith, courage, and enthusiasm because Catholic schools are so important to our future…In addition, Catholic schools should be available to students who are not Catholic and who wish to attend them. This has been a proud part of the history of Catholic schools in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We must continue this outreach in the new millennium.”  (“The Challenges of the Future”, Renewing Our Commitment to Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools in the Third Millennium, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Inc., 2005.)
The Policy
The goal of our Catholic Schools is to present Catholic faith and Catholic teaching to our students in a rigorous academic, spiritual and moral education program.   Catholic school students strive for high academic achievement, are taught to love and worship God, and live the Gospel teachings.  Catholic school students work together, build community and give service to others. 
Our schools welcome and do not discriminate against or exclude any categories of students.  Admission is dependent both on academic qualifications and the desire to promote what is in the best interest of the student.  Students are considered “academically qualified” if they meet a school’s written academic criteria for admission.  Academically qualified Catholic students may be given priority for admission to Catholic Schools.
Parent(s)/guardian(s) of students in Catholic schools must accept and understand that the teachings of the Catholic Church are an essential and required part of the curriculum.
Guidelines for Policy Implementation
Pastors and principals should consult the Catholic Schools Office with any questions pertaining to admissions or the policy.
School admission policies must be written, included in the school handbook, consider the welfare and best interests of the child and be disseminated to prospective students and their parents prior to registration.
In accord with the principle of subsidiarity, pastors, principals, advisory and/or governing boards may develop specific admission policies for their school provided they are in conformity with the Archdiocesan Catholic Schools Admission Policy.
Each school should implement a recruitment and marketing program to maximize its enrollment consistent with its capacity and location.

#   #   #   #

The Cardinal and his leadership team ignored all of our messages about the problems with the policy and are thumbing their noses at faithful Catholics.  He goes to Ireland supposedly to help prevent future sexual abuse of minors, yet he’s allowing moral corruption of young minds in his own Catholic schools. Gay activists who have no interest in partnering with the Catholic school and just want to disrupt the Catholic school education by putting their child in the school?  No problem, Cardinal Sean and Bryan Hehir said, “C’mon on in, everyone’s welcome here!”  That takes priority over other Catholic parents ensuring their children get a solid Catholic education, and pastors have to abide by the policy. 

Does anyone trust Cardinal O’Malley’s leadership of Boston any more?  Bringing in and keeping Fr. Bryan Hehir was already inexplicable.  At this point, it can’t just be about Cardinal O’Malley happlessly surrounding himself by bad advisors.  A regular reader of the blog keeps reminding us that a fish rots from the head.  We’ve been hoping they were wrong, but think the handwriting is probably on the wall.

If anyone reading this thinks the policy is a good idea, do us a favor and read this post before you write comments so you’ll save us the trouble of moderating out your comments.

More next time on what Catholics can do to try and address this atrocity before it spreads to the rest of the country.

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We’re still working on how to deal with the problem of Catholic identity slowly being expunged from the Archdiocese of Boston’s institutions, like Catholic schools and Catholic hospitals–thanks to the help of Fr. Bryan Hehir.

We recently commented that Bryan Hehir Speaking on Catholic Identity Is Like Tiger Woods Speaking on Marital Fidelity. As we know, Hehir was a key architect of the “seamless garment” concept that’s given air-cover to pro-abortion “Catholic” politicians for decades, he honored the pro-abortion, pro-gay-marriage Mayor of Boston at a Catholic Charities fundraiser, he presided over Catholic Charities brokering adoptions to gay couples even though the Vatican said this was doing violence to the child, he claimed the issue of ordaining women as priests raised doctrinal questions “that have to be worked through,” and he praised the “intelligent and courageous leadership” of the Catholic Health Association at their 2010 conference immediately after they helped pass the Obama-backed healthcare legislation that was actively opposed by the U.S. bishops because it allowed funding for abortions. Those are just a few highlights.

It’s nothing short of absurd that he was just tapped to speak on Catholic identity in Catholic schools, let alone that Cardinal O’Malley considers him a trusted “strategic advisor” who brings “fidelity to the work of the Church” and ”clarity to our message and mission.”  If Cardinal O’Malley really believes that, then he should seriously invite Tiger Woods to come and speak at the new marriage preparation program on marital fidelity.

As a refreshing alternative to the expunging of Catholic identity seen in Boston, we thought you’d enjoy reading this column by George Weigel which appeared in First Things as well as in The Pilot.

Reaffirming Catholic Identity

George Weigel
Posted: 1/7/2011

Throughout his recently completed three-year term as president of United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Francis George, OMI, gently but firmly led his brother bishops through a reflection on their duties as defenders of the integrity of the Catholic “brand.” A deeper commitment on the bishops’ part to being the stewards of Catholic identity in their dioceses was, one may speculate, one factor in the election of Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York — a robust defender of Catholic truth — as Cardinal George’s successor in the president’s chair at the USCCB. Not everything that is labeled “Catholic” warrants that label, the bishops have come to understand; and if anyone is to do something about that, the bishops are going to have to be the principal agents of change.

The debate about the Catholic identity of Catholic institutions of higher education has been underway for decades, and may well take some interesting turns in the years ahead. At the moment, however, the hottest of hot buttons on this front involve health care institutions that call themselves “Catholic” but which have acquiesced to practices approved by an increasingly aggressive secular culture — and to the lure of government dollars. On that new front in the campaign to reaffirm Catholic identity, Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix has become an important leader.

Bishop Olmsted inherited a terrible situation in Phoenix: the previous bishop had been disgraced; the local legal authorities had stated publicly that they could not trust the Church to police its own house in matters of sexual abuse, and proposed to take over that function themselves. Bishop Olmsted didn’t squawk, nor did he deny that serious problems existed. Rather, he quietly and decisively set about fixing what needed fixing, so that the public authorities were soon content to revert to a more normal Church/state relationship.

Then, in 2009, a “therapeutic” abortion was performed at Phoenix’s St. Joseph’s Hospital, a part of the Catholic Healthcare West system. When Bishop Olmsted wrote the president of CHW, asking what on earth was going on, CHW attempted to justify what had happened through arguments advanced by M. Therese Lysaught, who teaches theology at Marquette University. Bishop Olmsted was not impressed, and informed CHW that it was his duty, as the local bishop, to be the authoritative interpreter of the moral law in his diocese and the authoritative interpreter of the hospital guidelines adopted by the USCCB. And the bishop went on to state that, on Dec. 17, 2010 (the day after this is being written), he would declare that St. Joseph’s Hospital is no longer to be considered a Catholic institution — unless CHW admits that the 2009 abortion that happened there violated the U.S. bishops’ norms and unless CHW pledges that such an abomination will not happen again.

However the Phoenix/CHW situation eventually sorts out, an important marker has been laid down by a bishop known for both his integrity and his personal sanctity. Bishop Olmsted will undoubtedly be criticized by those for whom “dialogue” is the holy grail of Catholic life. But in our current cultural situation (and given the pressures that the Obama administration and unsympathetic state governments are likely to increase on Catholic health care facilities), the call for “dialogue” too often amounts to a prescription for slow-motion surrender, with the Catholic identity of Catholic institutions being slowly whittled away while the “dialogue” partners carry on.

The Catholic integrity of Catholic educational and health care institutions was at stake when those institutions were segregated in the 1950s and early 1960s; brave bishops like Joseph Ritter in St. Louis, Joseph Rummel in New Orleans, and Lawrence Shehan in Baltimore took a lot of heat, but did what they had to do to bring the conduct of Catholic institutions into sync with the Church’s teaching on human dignity. No less ought to be expected of the Church’s ordained leaders today, when the stakes are just as high, although the issues have changed. So full marks to Cardinal George for putting the issue of Catholic identity on the bishops’ plates, and full marks to Bishop Olmsted for giving that new commitment real teeth.

George Weigel is Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C.

Oh, to have a Bishop Olmsted or Cardinal Burke in Boston instead of our current situation where the Catholic identity of our institutions is getting continually confused and destroyed by the likes of Fr. Bryan Hehir, Jack Connors, the Catholic Schools office, and others, all with the tacit capitulation of Cardinal Sean O’Malley.

If you’d like to send a Letter to the Editor of the Pilot commenting on the Weigel column, you can do so by clicking here, and then clicking on Comments.  In the meantime, we’re still working on our next campaign, which we expect to announce within just a few days.

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Back in May, everyone was up at arms over the situation at a local Catholic Church, St. Pauls, in Hingham, where the pastor, Fr. James Rafferty, courageously denied admission to the child of lesbian parents based on his assessment of what would be in the best interest of the child.  The Archdiocese of Boston said they would be writing a policy to set guidelines for admitting children of gay parents to avoid a similar uproar in the future, and we sent them our input towards the process in “The Big Picture on Catholic Education for Children of Gay Parents.”  The policy has been under review behind the scenes for the past few months and though it’s nearly done, the early draft version we saw makes us feel the policy needs to be stopped in its tracks sooner rather than later.

Before we dive into the outright lies and various agendas that are a part of the Archdiocesan policy effort, for today, since it’s been a while since we covered this topic we’ll just make sure you’re all up to speed by re-publishing an outstanding article by Hingham writer, Gail Besse, that appeared in the July-August issue of the New Oxford Review which gives you all of the background.  At the end of the article below, we’ll give you a brief summary of where things stand today.

Catholic Education for Children of Same-Sex Couples?

July-August 2010  By Gail Besse

Gail Besse taught in public and parochial schools for eighteen years. She has worked as a reporter, editor, and bureau chief for Massachusetts daily newspapers, and is currently a freelance writer.

One day after he rescinded the school admission of a boy being raised by two lesbians, Fr. James Rafferty heard from the Associated Press. The women had called the AP claiming discrimination. Forty-eight hours later, television satellite trucks and news crews converged on St. Paul’s Church and Elementary School. Helicopters circled the small town square in Hingham, Massachusetts.

Global publicity enveloped the Archdiocese of Boston, the pastor, and the beleaguered parish, whose parishioners Fr. Rafferty had ministered to for sixteen years as the sex-abuse scandal unraveled, exposing the guilt of four of its former priests, including the infamous John J. Geoghan, who in 2003 was murdered in prison.

The “gay-parent” controversy that hit in May stemmed in part from the particular individuals involved. The women were less than truthful, and key archdiocesan players castigated the pastor in the press days before Sean Cardinal O’Malley finally rose to his defense. Still, the general factors at play here will continue to challenge other Catholic schools. Should they admit children being raised by practicing homosexuals? As it stands, some do and some don’t.

In any case, it would seem reasonable that at least the following four issues should be considered: Church teaching on homosexuality, a school’s mission as defined by the Magisterium, the role of parents as partners in faith, and the consequences of accepting same-sex couples as part of the school community.

Apparently, none of these issues was raised publicly by Boston archdiocesan spokesmen during the first week Fr. Rafferty was pilloried in the media — and sadly by many Catholics — as “punishing the child for having gay parents.”

The women, to whom the AP granted anonymity, told the press they had been forthcoming about their relationship, having written both names as “parents” on the application form when the boy was accepted for third grade in the upcoming 2010-2011 school year.

Actually, they had written the mother’s full name and under “father,” had listed the other woman’s last name and first initial only, according to numerous reliable sources who asked to remain anonymous because Fr. Rafferty, who adamantly guarded the women’s privacy for the child’s sake, chose not to speak publicly about it.

The mother reportedly said that she was not Catholic, but her lesbian partner, whom she referred to as her “husband,” was a fallen-away Catholic. When the pastor scheduled a parental meeting, a normal practice at the small school, he hoped that his offer of spiritual guidance could help them.

It was during this meeting that their lesbian relationship came to light. After prayerful discernment, Fr. Rafferty made the difficult decision to rescind enrollment, a pastoral move that quickly heaped coals upon his head from the Boston chancery and beyond.

The fundraising director of the Catholic Schools Foundation warned that any administrator who followed St. Paul’s “exclusionary admissions policy” could wave tuition grants good-bye.

Power-broker Jack Connors, who had raised $60 million for the schools, told the Boston Globe that the incident was an “unfortunate aberration” that should not “discourage corporate donors.”

Superintendent of Schools Mary Grassa O’Neill issued a statement saying that the Church does not prohibit children of same-sex parents from attending Catholic schools and that the archdiocese will “develop a policy to eliminate any misunderstandings in the future.” She assured the women that she’d find them another school.

Ironically, while this transpired, Cardinal O’Malley was in Fatima, Portugal, with Pope Benedict XVI, who condemned same-sex “marriage” as a “dangerous and insidious” challenge to society. Yet no such counter-cultural message echoed from the Archdiocese of Boston; and to those acclimatized by moral relativism, the priest’s decision was simply unintelligible.

C.J. Doyle of the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts, on the other hand, urged the archdiocese to “vigorously defend” the decision. “The real question here is why two people who radically repudiate the moral teachings of Catholicism would want their child educated in a Catholic school,” Doyle said in a statement.

Eventually, The Pilot, the archdiocesan newspaper, did editorialize on the possibility of “scandal,” and the cardinal did defend Fr. Rafferty in an entry on his blog and in The Pilot. He called the priest “one of our finest pastors,” who has his “full confidence and support.”

O’Malley acknowledged that Fr. Rafferty had “made a decision based on an assessment of what he felt would be in the best interest of the child.” But, unfortunately, the cardinal never clarified the decision’s underlying reasoning. A teaching moment was lost.

The mission of Catholic schools is primarily to educate children in the truth and beauty of the Catholic faith. Vatican II’s “Declaration on Christian Education” (Gravis­simum Educationis) states that its goal is to introduce to the baptized the knowledge of the mystery of salvation and help them become aware of the gift of faith. Its purpose is to lead youth “to worship God the Father in spirit and truth (cf. John 4:23)…and be conformed in their personal lives according to the new man created in justice and holiness of truth (Eph. 4:22-24)….”

This document, and the Congregation for Catholic Education’s 1977 directive “The Catholic School,” clearly indicates that a Catholic school’s primary mission is to impart the faith. But as the Boston controversy revealed, battles are played out over how this mission is put into practice.

Cardinal O’Malley said on his blog that “the good of the child must always be our primary concern,” but did not address the thorny issue of homosexuality. That issue was likewise skirted in a radio interview the next day by his key advisor, Fr. Bryan Hehir, who is known for stressing social-justice issues over those involving sexuality. “We want to accept all children and their families who want to come,” he said.

Observers were left with a paradox. How can a Catholic school unambiguously present Church teaching on human sexuality with children of same-sex couples in the classroom?

A few dioceses informally surveyed concluded that for the protection of all involved, it can’t be done.

In response to a question on the policy in the Diocese of Lincoln, chancellor Fr. Daniel Rayer said it would be to “not enroll in our Catholic schools children of parents who are living an active homosexual lifestyle. If the children are to be raised Catholic, then we would allow them to be baptized and attend CCD instruction.”

When a situation strikingly similar to Boston’s occurred in Boulder, Colorado, in March, Denver’s Archbishop Charles Chaput explained his rationale for supporting Fr. William Breslin, who declined school enrollment of two girls being raised by a lesbian couple. In a column in the archdiocesan Denver Catholic Register titled “Partners in Faith with Parents,” Archbishop Chaput wrote: “The main purpose of Catholic schools is religious; in other words, to form students in Catholic faith, Catholic morality and Catholic social values…. The Church never looks for reasons to turn anyone away from a Catholic education. But the Church can’t change her moral beliefs without undermining her mission and failing to serve the many families who believe in that mission.”

“These beliefs are central to a Catholic understanding of human nature, family and happiness, and the organization of society. The Church cannot change these teachings because, in the faith of Catholics, they are the teachings of Jesus Christ,” Archbishop Chaput continued. “Our schools are meant to be ‘partners in faith’ with parents. If parents don’t respect the beliefs of the Church, or live in a manner that openly rejects those beliefs, then partnering with those parents becomes very difficult, if not impossible.”

Others concerned with the welfare of the student body in general and children of gay couples in particular have also concluded that admitting them would cause more harm than good.

“It is reasonable for Catholic elementary schools to explain to same-sex couples that this is not the place for their children,” wrote Dale O’Leary, author of The Gender Agenda, in her essay “Catholic Schools.” “A Catholic school cannot agree to hide the truth…. If schools accept the children, they will either be alienated from their parents, on whom they rely, or alienated from God, who would be seen as condemning their parents’ choices.”

Fr. Roger Landry, in a subsequent editorial in The Anchor, the Fall River diocesan newspaper, concurred on that point: “There is a requirement, for the good of the child, that parents commit to raise the child in a situation that at least does not contradict the values and formation given at the school,” he wrote. “If the child’s education will not be coupled to a way of life consistent with it, the parents and school would be placing the child in a spiritually and morally schizophrenic situation — which is obviously harmful.”

Why none of these reasoned arguments emanated louder than a whisper from the Archdiocese of Boston is a matter of conjecture. One St. Paul parishioner suggested in a letter to the local paper that “chancery spin” deflected attention away from the issue of homosexuality so as not to resurrect in the public eye the parish’s painful history, which included not only Geoghan but also two other suspended or laicized priests and Fr. Rafferty’s predecessor, John R. Hanlon, now serving life in prison.

Certainly court-imposed “gay marriage” has dispirited and confused many over the past six years. That is all the more reason why those who want schools to cling to their Catholic identity and mission are hoping that Cardinal O’Malley regains the strong voice he had in a 2005 letter he issued on homosexuality. “If we tell people that sex outside of marriage is not a sin, we are deceiving people. If they believe this untruth, a life of virtue becomes all but impossible,” he wrote. “We must teach the truths of the Gospel in season and out of season.”


What’s happened since all this happened, you may be asking?  As we told you on May 21, Fr. Bryan Hehir said in a WBUR interview, that Catholic schools in this archdiocese have been and will remain wide open to children of gay couples.  He said, “Are we doing it already?  Yes.   And we intend to do it as the Cardinal indicated, with formal policies!”

We’re aware that Cardinal O’Malley, under advisement by Fr. Bryan Hehir, Jack Connors, and others of their ilk, apparently told his staff to create a policy that admits anyone, and schools superintendent, Mary Grassa O’Neill has done just that. Their internal way of describing this uses the same kind of language the gay movement uses to push gay marriage–they “don’t want to discriminate” against anyone, even if the resulting policy means they will be discriminating against faithful Catholics who just want a solid Catholic education.

Here’s a draft version from September, posted at Boston Catholic Insider.  It’s supposedly undergone subsequent review and editing to try and fix some of the more egregious flaws, but we haven’t yet gotten to see the most recent draft and can’t imagine how they could ever “perfume the pig” from this as a starting point.  We’ll go through all of the problems with the draft tomorrow.  Suffice to say, the Archdiocese basically ignored everything we told them in the “Big Picture.”   More tomorrow.

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With the controversy still alive and kicking over the Pope’s recent comments about condom usage and contraception, we’re dipping a small toe in the water—not about the condom controversy–but just to share what we know of Fr. Hehir’s views on contraception.   That’s it—nothing about the Pope’s condoms comments (except a suggestion people might want to read this post from Veritatis: The Cartoon).

One of Fr. Hehir’s most famous comments you’ve probably known about for a while—that contraception should be a matter of private not public morality.  But most people probably don’t know how Bryan Hehir actually questioned the truth of the Church’s teaching on contraception a few years ago while defending  the now-disgraced gay Archbishop Rembert Weakland.

Here’s the “Cliff Notes” version.   Pope John Paul II held a “Synod on the Laity” in  October of 1987, and among the delegates representing the U.S. Bishops was Archbishop Rembert Weakland.  At a pre-Synod meeting In June of 1987 moral theologian, Germain Grisez, who supported the Church’s teaching on contraception, got into a public disagreement with Weakland, who was known to not accept Church teachings on a range of issues.  Hehir, being consistent with what we’ve documented here on the blog for 8 months, defended Weakland by questioning Grisez’s assumption that the Church’s teaching on contraception was true.  Yup, that’s right–Hehir, who has responsibility over the Archdiocese of Boston’s pro-life ministry, questioned the validity of the Church’s teaching on contraception.

If you stop here, you’ve got the gist of today’s post. But if you keep reading, grab a cup of coffee or tea first.  Then fast-forward 23 years to 2010, you’ll see the alarming extent to which some of these people are still influencing Church policies today.

First this on Weakland, then onto Hehir’s comment.

Rembert Weakland

Author and Culture Wars editor E. Michael Jones had this to say about Weakland:

The bishops who chose him as a delegate may or may not have known that Rembert Weakland was a homosexual; they may or may not have understood that homosexuals subvert the institutions they occupy, but they most certainly knew that he did not accept traditional Catholic teaching on issues like contraception, abortion, homosexuality and the ordination of women. That is, in fact, why they chose him as a delegate to the synod, to send precisely that message to Rome. Even if Weakland had never opened his mouth at the synod, that message would have been clear. That is why they chose him as a delegate.

We note that Archbishop Weakland’s having had an adult gay relationship from 1979-80 with Paul Marcoux only erupted into a full-blown public scandal in 2002, when it was revealed Weakland had paid Marcoux $450,000 in 1998 to keep quiet about the sordid affair.

Bryan Hehir Questions the Truth of Church Teaching on Contraception

In case those reading the blog are not familiar with the Synod on the Laity, during the pontificate of Pope John Paul II, every two or three years a select group of Roman Catholic bishops from around the world was invited to Rome to advise the Pope. At the 1987 synod, the month-long conference included 232 bishops from 92 countries summoned to discuss the role of the laity, joined by 51 official lay observers.

About a half-dozen meetings were arranged prior to the U.S. bishops’ trip to Rome so they could meet with selected individuals, lay and clerical, in order to prepare the agenda for their synodal presentation.  After these meetings, what was then a“secret” meeting took place at St. Mary’ s College at Notre Dame June 7-9, 1987.  It included members of the U.S.C.C. Laity Committee and the six bishops who would represent the U.S. Church at the Roman meeting: Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, Archbishop Rembert Weakland, Archbishop of St. Louis John May, Bishop of Baton Rouge Stanley Ott, Bishop of New Ulm Raymond Lucker, and Bishop of Las Cruces Ricardo Ramirez.

Besides the bishops, other invited participants included moral theologian, Germain Grisez, Lisa Sowle Cahill, Bishop of Joliet Joseph Imesch, (chaired committee that wrote bishops’ pastoral on women), Fr. Robert Kinast (American Theological Union), Doris Donnelly (St. Mary’s College Center for Spirituality), Dr. David Thomas, and USCC staffers including Fr. Bryan Hehir.  Grisez, perhaps the only orthodox theologian of this group, wrote a 14-page letter to a number of colleagues afterwards which he did not intend to be published. Many excerpts were published in The Wanderer referring to him anonymously as the “orthodox theologian” but it was clear that he was the author.  To get the full picture, read the Wanderer’s 1987 article “Letter Shows How U.S. Bishops Synod Agenda Rigged”.  Here are the highlights:

As to why an orthodox theologian was invited to the St. Mary’s consultation, it may be surmised that the meeting’s organizers and the Rome-bound bishops wished to be able to say, if ever challenged, that “conservatives” had been part of their consultative process.  They can point to the theologian.  It may also be conjectured that is exactly why he wrote his friends.  He wanted to be on record somewhere reporting that even as soon as he was sent the meeting’s schedule he saw that “it was clear” he would “not be allowed to present anything.”

Grisez recounts presentation after presentation that conveyed dissent from Church teachings by Fr. Bryan Hehir, Donnelly, Lisa Sowle Cahill, and David Thomas.  Some participants wanted women priests, and assuming that was not yet realistic, most of the participants wanted the bishops to go to the synod asking for female altar servers.  Read the Jones article or the Wanderer Article “Letter Shows How U.S. Bishops Synod Agenda Rigged” to get the whole picture.  Here are excerpts:

Fr. Hehir: “Though Americans may be perceived as imperialistic, they should not hesitate to push their program at the synod, and particularly to insist on the rightness of their idea of the Church in the world. The US experience is valid–certainly for the US–and the rest of the world should learn from it too” (cf. E. Michael Jones, “The Synod on the Laity Just says No to Altar Girls,” Fidelity, December 1987, p. 32ff). Father Hehir, who was then at the peak of his fame as the author of bishops’ statement on nuclear weapons, was not alone in promoting Americanism at the secret meeting. In fact he was articulating the fundamental consensus of the delegation of American bishops who were heading off to the synod.

All of those who attended the meeting (with the exception of Germain Grisez, who wrote the report exposing the machinations there) were united in the belief that America had something to teach the universal Church. Just what it had to teach became apparent in the course of the meeting. What America had to offer the Catholic Church was sexual liberation. The resentment of Church bureaucrats tied to what they perceived as an oppressive sexual code while living in liberated America was palpable, to Germain Grisez at least, at the secret meeting. Doris Donnelly, a feminist from St. Mary’s who gave the conference’s keynote address, claimed in Grisez’s words that the 1976 [Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith] declaration on the ordination of women holds that women are incapable of imitating Christ and thus departs radically from the whole Christian tradition about following Christ! She wants a canon law making rape and incest crimes if abortion is to remain a crime (obviously she resents the canonical provision on abortion). She thinks that the draft’s treatment of sexuality is okay but not very clear. Sexuality is one’s need to be in communion with others. God is not solitary. She doesn’t like anything on the roman working paper’s statement on women. She rejects its attempt to mark out distinguishing feminine and masculine characteristics, but she makes her own attempt: Men fear being tied down by relationships, whereas women fear the rupture of relationships.”

Theologian Lisa Sowle Cahill, one of the people at the conference who, unlike Grisez, had ready access to the microphone anytime she wanted to say something, attacked the Church’s position on contraception “as if the whole thing were a matter of terminology.”

Now you need to follow what Germain Grisez said, and then Weakland and Hehir’s responses.

Grisez: “I began by…suggesting that the bishops should go to the Synod and say: “In the U.S. dissent has been tried and we’ve tolerated it, and we’re here to tell you on the basis of experience that it’s a disaster. The initial promise was that contraception would solve all sorts of problems, help people cement their marriages, and also forestall abortion, but our Catholic divorce and abortion rates approximate those of the U.S. at large. Also. the new sex morality, was not supposed to open up sex, outside marriage, but in fact it has, with terrible results. I pointed out that experience does not interpret itself, but has to be understood in some sort of framework.  If one understands experience in the light of faith, one sees that traditional morality is sound. Naturally, if one interprets experience by some contemporary, non-believing framework, it provides evidence to getting rid of that morality.

Grisez: “I then recounted the story of a man who some years ago followed bad pastoral advice and tried to develop a lasting homosexual relationship, but soon gave in to unlimited promiscuity, and now is dying of AIDS. He has repented, but has had to learn by experience that if you live according to the flesh, you die.”

Cahill: countered by claiming that “the bad experience of people trying to live up to the Church’s teaching outweighs the odd case where things work out badly.”

Weakland: Came back to challenge Grisez by invoking the actual situation which has developed in the Church.  He holds that modern techniques have simply separated procreation from love-making, and there is no longer anything anybody can do about that.

Grisez: answered that the situation in the Church is the Bishops’ responsibility and it’s up to them to change it.

Bryan Hehir: moved to defend Weakland by saying that I (Grisez) was begging the question by assuming that the received teaching (on contraception) is true.

Grisez: replied that if the Bishops do not believe it, they could, at least, go to the Pope privately and tell him that, and urge him to get a process going which will face and resolve these issues.  I pointed out that the Pope is not a neurotic, that he is intelligent, and that it should be possible to get him to see the urgency of beginning to resolve the issues.

There’s a lot more about Hehir’s role in this session and his defense of dissent, but this should be enough for you to get the gist of the matter.

Incidentally, though Grisez is retired and no longer teaching, he is still active enough as a moral theologian that he was tapped for his views on last week’s condom controversy in a widely-distributed AP article by Rachel Zoll:

Germain Grisez, a prominent moral theologian who advises bishops, said that promoting condoms as protection against disease would be “pernicious” because it assumes a person does not have the capacity to make good, moral choices. He lamented that the pope’s comments “can be – and are being – misused to sow doubt about Catholic teaching.”

To summarize, as we covered on the blog, in 1974, Hehir wrote that the Church could

regard contraceptive practice as an issue of private morality that the church continues to teach for its members, but not an issue of public morality on which it seeks to affect public policy” (Theological Studies, March 1974)

In 1987 Hehir defended a bishop known to dissent from Church teachings (who later came out as gay) by criticizing an orthodox moral theologian for assuming that the Church’s teaching on contraception was true. In other words, Hehir felt it was wrong to assume the Church’s teaching on contraception was true.

Next time someone bumps into Bryan Hehir, do us a favor and ask him if he accepts and believes the Church’s teaching on contraception. If he says he does, ask him why he criticized Germain Grisez for his acceptance of the teaching?

And next time someone bumps into Cardinal O’Malley, could you ask him how Bryan Hehir, his trusted strategic advisor, could possible bring “fidelity to the work of the Church” when Hehir consistently makes statements that suggest he does not accept Church teachings?

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As the dust settles on the election of Archbishop Dolan as the USCCB’s new President and the defeat of Bishop Kicanas, since the name of Cardinal Bernardin was resurrected in many of the media reports, we thought we’d just make sure everyone knew the ties that connect Fr. Hehir, the late Cardinal Bernardin, and Bishop Kicanas. 

In the course of writing this, we stumbled across some articles about Bernardin that were, er, rather controversial and disturbing as relates to the advancement of the gay agenda and sub-culture in the Catholic Church by Bernardin. Grab a good strong cup of coffee or tea.  You’ll need it today.

Kicanas Connection to Bernardin

USA Today said about Kicanas:

The expected choice: the Bishop of Tucson Gerald Kicanas, a Chicago-born and trained bishop mentored by the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin who was known as a voice for social justice in the era when the U.S.Conference of Catholic Bishops wrote major pastoral letters nuclear weapons, the economy and AIDS. In 2008, Kicanas won The Cardinal Bernardin Award for his commitment to finding common ground within the Catholic faith.

Bernardin’s pastoral letter on AIDS  talked about public education campaigns that could give out information about condoms, and it was later modified after objections by Cardinal Law, Cardinal O’Connor, and Cardinal Ratzinger becuase some of its passages went against Church teachings or appeared to condone immoral behavior.

Bernardin was mentioned as the model for a potential Kicanas USCCB presidency very frequently; just do a Google search on kicanas and bernardin and you’ll find 2700 results.

Kicanas Connection to Hehir

Since Kicanas was a protégé of Bernardin’s and Fr. Hehir was close to Bernardin too, it only makes sense that Kicanas would probably have some connection to Fr. Hehir.  Here is Bishop Kicanas speaking at the National Leadership Roundtable, where Fr. Bryan Hehir is on the Board of Directors along with Sr. Carol Keehan of the CHA, whom Hehir praised earlier for her leadership in supporting the abortion-funding ObamaCare.  (We wrote about that in Fr. Bryan Hehir “Wounds Catholic Unity” by Undermining U.S. Bishops on Healthcare).

Like most of the other organizations that Fr. Hehir is a member of, the National Leadership Roundtable is not without controversy:

“Bishops who might welcome the help offered by the Roundtable project in its early phases may later find that those who only wanted to be of assistance have effectively taken over a large part of the decision-making authority traditionally belonging to the episcopal office,” Fr. Richard Neuhaus, an influential New York archdiocesan priest wrote in First Things, the monthly journal he founded. “He who pays the piper, and all that,” wrote Neuhaus.  “An additional concern expressed by lay critics of the Roundtable project is that it would create a small elite of wealthy lay people and progressive activists falsely claiming to represent the millions of lay faithful,” continued Neuhaus. “In response to this concern, it is said that the Boisi group is only taking the initiative in a restructuring of the governance of the Catholic church that will, in its successive phases, expand to include democratically elected representation at every level of the church’s life.”

Practical assistance is just what the Roundtable offered the Tucson, Ariz., diocese, which is undergoing significant management challenges in the wake of bankruptcy proceedings that led to separate incorporation of the church’s 74 parishes.

Hehir Connection to Bernardin

As we told you in “Fr. Hehir and the Seamless Garment,”  Fr. Hehir and the late Cardinal Bernardin were close collaborators and friends.  From the 2001 book, “Religious Leaders and Faith-Based Politics” we hear:

Shortly after the pastoral on war and peace had been issued. and no doubt trying to take advantage of the momentum it bad generated within the hierarchy. Cardinal Bernardin undertook another major initiative intended to broaden the bishops’ pro-life agenda beyond abortion.

As one would expect, in undertaking this initiative Bernardin received the invaluable assistance of Bryan Hehir. Indeed it is fair to say that this initiative was chiefly the product of their long collaboration. After working together over the years, the two men had become close friends.

Bernardin Connection to Gay Agenda and Sub-Culture in the Catholic Church

If what’s documented in these various books and articles is accurate, our calling this Cardinal Bernardin’s “connection to gay agenda and sub-culture” is an understatement already. 

  • From Paul Melanson at Lasalette Journey, excerpting from Paul Likoudis’s “AmChurch Comes Out: The U.S. Bishops, Pedophile Scandals and the Homosexual Agenda”:

If the problem of a homosexual network in the Church is viewed in this larger perspective, one can understand more fully the remarkable role of Joseph Cardinal Bernardin in creating an ‘American Church’ that has become a trusted ally of all those various social, political and cultural forces promoting sexual libertinism…Bernardin, it must be recalled, at least briefly, was sponsored, tutored and promoted by a number of dubious characters, not only his clerical godfather and mentor, Archbishop Paul Hallinan of Atlanta, who served as a bishop in Bernardin’s hometown, Charleston. Bernardin’s other ‘godfather’ was Archbishop (later Cardinal) John Dearden, who would be responsible for the appointment of such notorious pro-homosexual bishops as Detroit Auxiliary Tom Gumbleton, Ken Untener of Saginaw, Joseph Imesch, of Joliet, and Springfield’s Daniel Ryan….His closest friend from his South Carolina days, Monsignor Frederick Hopwood, had been accused of abusing hundreds of boys dating back to the early 1950s, when he and Bernardin shared a residence at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Charleston – where some of the alleged abuse took place….

To do real justice to Cardinal Bernardin and his entourage of clerical homosexuals and pederasts and ancillary hangers-on who made up the Chicago-Washington, D. C. Homosexual/Pederast Axis would require more than one full size book.

That Bernardin’s alleged sexual penchant for young men still remains an open issue even today, ten years after the cardinal’s death, is reflected in the remarks made by writer A. W. Richard Sipe in his keynote address, “View From the Eye of the Storm,” given on February 23, 2003 to the Linkup National Conference in Louisville, Ky.

According to Sipe, years before Bernardin was charged with sexual abuse by Steven Cook in 1993, “several priests who were associates of Bernardin prior to his move to Chicago revealed that they had ‘partied’ together; they talked about their visits to the Josephinum to socialize with seminarians.”

It is a fact that Bernardin’s accuser (Cook) did not ever retract his allegations of abuse by anyone’s account other than Bernardin’s,” said Sipe. He also told the audience that the Chicago Archdiocese’s pay off to Cook before he died of AIDS was in the $3 million range.

The massive reorganization of the old National Catholic Welfare Conference into the super bureaucracy of the NCCB/USCC proved to be an unbelievable boon to the Homosexual Collective within and without of the Church. It accelerated the rate of wholesale infiltration and colonization of dioceses throughout the United States and reached its zenith under the reign of Pope Paul VI.

One of Bishop Bernardin’s closest friends at the NCCB/USCC was fellow homosexual Father James S. Rausch whose background has been thoroughly covered in Chapter 11. In 1970, Bishop Bernardin appointed Father Rausch, Assistant General Secretary of the NCCB/USCC. After Bernardin was made Archbishop of Cincinnati in November 1972, Rausch succeeded him as General Secretary.

Rausch was consecrated an Auxiliary Bishop of St. Cloud, Minn. by Cardinal John Krol of Philadelphia on April 26, 1973. In January 1977, having served out his term of office at the NCCB/USCC, Rausch was made Bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix.

An up and coming prelate to whom Bernardin was especially attached was Auxiliary Bishop John Roach who later became the Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. Roach served as President of the NCCB/USCC from 1980 to 1983.

Bernardin and Roach, who some AmChurch observers characterized as “conjoined twins,” dominated political life at the NCCB/USCC for decades, first directly, and later through the clerics they advanced to bishoprics and key positions within the American bishops’ bureaucracy. The two men were frequent traveling companions and cooperated on a number of important NCCB documents including the 1983 Pastoral Letter “The Challenge of Peace: God’s Promise and Our Response” that challenged the morality of nuclear deterrence.

“The Boys Club” Murder

On May 30, 1984, Frank Pellegrini, the organist and choir director for All Saints — St. Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church on Chicago’s Southside was found brutally murdered in his apartment. His hands had been tied with barbed wire and he had been stabbed more than 20 times. There was no sign of forced entry. Police officials investigating the case believed that the murder was committed either by a woman or a homosexual.

According to his girlfriend, Pellegrini had had a homosexual relationship with a Chicago priest and was part of a secret clerical “Boys Club” that not only included homosexual assignations, but also ritualistic, occult worship and the sexual abuse of young boys garnered from low income ethnic families in the city. Pellegrini’s girlfriend told the police that Frank had told her that he wanted out of the Club and had scheduled a meeting with Chancery officials on the matter shortly before his death.

Two young private Chicago investigators, Bill Callaghan and Hank Adema, were hired to look into the Pellegrini murder. They were able to confirm the existence of a clerical homosexual/pederast ring operating out of the Archdiocese of Chicago. It appeared that the alleged homosexual ring they had uncovered was the same one mentioned by Father Andrew Greeley in the paperback version of Furthermore! Memories of a Parish Priest written in 1999.

One of the puzzling mysteries surrounding the murder involved Cardinal Bernardin. According to the police who were present at the crime scene, shortly after Pellegrini’s body was discovered, Cardinal Bernardin arrived at the murdered man’s home to quiz the officers about the killing. The cardinal told police that he did not know the murdered man. This raises the obvious question of how he learned of the killing so quickly and of what special interest was Pellegrini to him since he did not know the victim. The Pellegrini case was reopened in the early 1990s, but to date, the crime remains unsolved and Father Greeley remains silent.

Bernardin and the Winona Seminary Scandal

Although the homosexual scandal at Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona, Minn. has already been covered in the previous chapter in connection with Bishop Brom of San Diego, it may be helpful to recall the case again briefly as Archbishop Bernardin was implicated in both the scandal and the subsequent payoff, and because it ties into the well-publicized Cook Affair.

As reported earlier, the details of the Winona scandal did not come to public attention until 2002. However, it had its genesis in the 1980s when a small group of homosexual prelates decided to scout out fresh meat from candidates for the priesthood at Immaculate Heart Seminary in the Diocese of Winona.

According to reports based on an investigation by Roman Catholic Faithful, the bishops involved in the sordid affair were alleged to be Joseph Bernardin, John Roach, Robert Brom, and a fourth bishop whose identity is not known. (The Boston Globe briefly mentioned the scandal here)

At least two of the seminarians who were assaulted at Immaculate Heart Seminary took legal action, and it was through them that the existence of the predatory homosexual ring of bishops in Winona came to light.

One of the seminarians indicated that some of the homosexual activities at the seminary were connected to occult and Satanic rituals. He and other seminarians also mentioned that on occasion Archbishop Bernardin arrived at the seminary with a young traveling companion, Steven Cook. Years later, Cook gained worldwide notoriety as the man who accused Cardinal Bernardin of sex abuse in the late 1970s when Bernardin was Archbishop of Cincinnati.

Endnote 26:

Cardinal Bernardin’s “Seamless Garment” later renamed the “Consistent Life Ethic,” like “The Many Faces of AIDS,” is another illustration of how Bernardin helped to advance the agenda of the Homosexual Collective. The Seamless Garment strategy set out by Bernardin in the 1980s sought to broaden the pro-life tent by expanding the movement’s opposition to abortion, euthanasia, population control and school sex instruction to include other “social justice” issues such as war and peace, opposition to the death penalty, welfare reform and civil liberties. One of the immediate effects of the Seamless Garment ethic was the increase of power and financial resources of Social Justice offices at the diocesan level where the Homosexual Collective has always been strongly represented.

Since the Homosexual Collective has been extremely successful at framing the homosexual question in terms of a “civil rights” issue, the Bernardin strategy opened the NCCB/USCC and diocesan Social Justice Departments (and their considerable resources and manpower) to further exploitation by the Collective. At the same time the Collective benefited from the neutering effect the Seamless Garment strategy had on pro-life/pro-family forces within the Church that had become the backbone of public opposition to the political and social agenda of the Homosexual Collective. The Bernardin strategy served to breathe new life into the languishing Democratic Party and its pro-homosexual platform as well as promote the “big tent” inclusive policies of the Republican Party that sought to capitalize and exploit the political talents and financial wealth of the Homosexual Collective in America.

You may remember the name of Joseph Kellenyi. He figured in Michael S. Rose’s book Goodbye, Good Men, and in two of Rose’s articles in the NOR (Dec. 2002 and June 2003). Kellenyi, who was once a seminarian at Mundelein in the Chicago area, makes the following statement about a conversation he had with the Rev. John F. Canary, the Rector of Mundelein Seminary, in August 1999: “I told Rev. Canary that I had some problems with the Chicago Diocese. I told him that I perceived that while Cardinal Bernardin had probably lived a celibate life, and may not have abused Steven Cook, that he also was flamingly gay. I said that I perceived that under Bernardin’s regime, Chicago had become like Santa Rosa under Bishop Ziemann. I said that in Santa Rosa, those priests and seminarians not in the bishop’s gay clique were treated unjustly, and that the same was true of Chicago under Bernardin. I said that I perceived that Bernardin fostered and promoted a network of gay priests and bishops, and that they protected each other, covered up each other’s ‘mistakes,’ and promoted one another to positions of responsibility in Chicago and the church at large. I alluded to the fact that Bernardin had appointed Rev. Canary, and that he in turn had appointed the formation faculty. Rev. Canary’s response was ‘Your perception is accurate. The question is what are you going to do about it.’”

Do we have a smoking gun here? Kellenyi thinks so. In the same issue of AMDG, Kellenyi has an article detailing his story. Says he: “The polygraph results show that I discovered in 1999 that Cardinal Bernardin had fostered a network of gay priests and bishops who were covering up one another’s sexual indiscretions. The rector of Mundelein Seminary confirmed this fact.…Andrew Greeley has insinuated that Bernardin was gay. Will he now come out and simply admit that he knew it all along?”

In Paul Likoudis’s book Amchurch Comes Out: The U.S. Bishops, Pedophile Scandals and the Homosexual Agenda, Likoudis fingers Cardinal Berdanin as the “bishop-maker who…gave the American hierarchy its pronounced pro-gay orientation.…Bernardin acquired power rapidly. As his friends back in Charleston continued buggering little boys, Bernardin used his influence, starting in 1968, as General Secretary of the U.S. Catholic Conference, to select bishops (many of whom are still ordinaries) who would, to put it charitably, condone and promote homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle and tolerate the sexual abuse of children by priests.”

A telling aside: James Hitchcock reported that “the Windy City Gay Men’s Chorus was asked [by Bernardin, who knew he was dying] to sing at his wake in the Cathedral. The chorus’s director said that they regarded the invitation as a sign of approval by the Church…” (The Catholic World Report, Feb, 1997). Approval indeed! At least by Bernardin. The Gay Chorus performed six songs – in the sanctuary to the right of the altar.

Back to Kellenyi’s article. Says he: “I would urge the reader to search The New York Times archives for an article entitled ‘Can this Man Save the Catholic Church?’ The article is about Wilton Gregory [President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops], and in it he describes in detail how Bernardin mentored and handpicked him, grooming him from early on for a leadership position….One can reasonably presume that Bishop Gregory is well aware of the fact that he is where he is today because a gay Cardinal took a special interest in him at a young age. Bishop Gregory has benefited directly from the combination of homosexuality and power in the Church. This alone would explain his waffling over the gay priest problem.”

Well, yes it would. Meanwhile, we wait and wait to see if Rome will intervene and clean up the mess. (We’re not holding our breath.)

[Update: we have removed a link to an article from a source which we just learnd has been discredited.]

Bryan Hehir Exposed thought this would probaby be enough about all these guys for one post. Even beyond the issues of Kicanas’ judgment about seminarian Daniel McCormack documented in this post, since Bernardin was a mentor for Kicanas, and Kicanas was endorsed by the militant “Catholic” GLBT Rainbow Sash organization that disrupts Catholic Masses and thought Kicanas would be open and understanding to their views, we’re pretty pleased that Kicanas was defeated.

Lest we lose sight of the namesake of this blog in the midst of all of the Bernardin material, we remind you that this generally flattering chapter about Fr. Hehir in the book “Religious Leaders and Faith-Based Politics”–whose content drew from interviews with Fr. Hehir and many of his friends and collaborators–said about Hehir and Bernardin, “After working together over the years, the two men had become close friends.” (p. 214)

Hehir and Bernardin were long-time collaborators and close friends.  Hehir is viewed by Cardinal Sean O’Malley as a highly trusted “strategic advisor.”  Need we say more about the questionable judgement of the key people highlighted in this post when it comes to choosing their friends, collaborators, mentors, and advisors?

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